cdlu writes "Kris Shaffer at Newsforge argues that just because software is open source doesn't mean it should be unpopular. What lessons, he asks, can open source projects learn from popular proprietary software?" From the article: "In the absence of a monopoly, there are three traits that are likely to make an application popular: it is cool or attractive in some way, it provides easy entry, and it is addictive. Barring these things, most average users will stick with the status quo. In fact, many users never use a program on their computer that did not come pre-installed. However, by creating an attractive, easy to set up, addictive application, a developer can motivate the average user to break this barrier and try something new. And several such applications can generate strong popular interest in the open source movement in general."